Vikings Coach Was Right about Ty Chandler

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings seem to be amid a transition to a true committee approach at the running back position.

Vikings Coach Was Right about Ty Chandler

When 2023 began, Alexander Mattison was handed the RB1 baton, with side dishes of Ty Chandler and Myles Gaskin. Soon after, Minnesota swung a low-risk trade for Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers, and the newcomer slid into RB2.

But Akers tore his Achilles tendon a few weeks ago and was placed on the IR shelf for the season’s remainder. Minnesota is back where it started — the Mattison + Chandler sandwich.

Vikings Coach Was Right
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And with six games to go, Chandler’s role may increase down the stretch of 2023, evidenced by his workload at the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. Chandler was granted 14 touches in the loss to Denver, whereas Mattison banked 18. Equity per touch appears afoot.

Meanwhile, last week, Vikings special teams coach Matt Daniels showered praise on Chandler — and he was right.

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“Every time Ty Chandler touches the ball, something positive happens,” Daniels said last week about Chandler. Shortly thereafter, Chandler effectuated Daniels’ slogan to the tune of 110 yards from scrimmage, including an ultra-nifty fake punt rush.

Daniels continued last week, “I think the biggest thing is he’s an explosive guy, he’s got good first-step quickness […] And Ty is just flat-out a football player.”

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The Chandler positivity from Daniels arrives at a time when Vikings fans, too, are calling for an enhanced Chandler role. Mattison has often been identified as a “problem” for Minnesota this season, and as a solution, fans crave more Chandler touches. In fact, during a Week 10 home game versus the New Orleans Saints, fans broke out in a loud “We want Chandler” chant at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“He gets it. He understands it. He understands the scheme, he has great vision, he’s got great first-step explosion, he’s a tackle breaker that is always falling forward, and he’s got great contact balance. He’s everything you look for in a running back, and most importantly, he’s just a great human being and a great overall teammate,” Daniels concluded.

Vikings Saw
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

After Chandler’s performance in Denver, the Vikings cannot — and probably will not — ignore the man in the offensive gameplan. He and Mattison should fetch a dual workload before too long if not Chandler taking the RB1 gig altogether.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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